Need Your Concrete Crown Repaired? Hire Smalling Masonry
Chimneys are exposed to the elements all year long. Even with regular inspections and maintenance, wear and tear can still happen, which means you may find yourself in need of professional repair work. One of the most common issues uncovered during chimney inspections is damage to the concrete or masonry crown. And when a chimney crown is cracked or damaged, water can enter through the openings and cause more structural damage.
Since Indianapolis is no stranger to wet weather, call Smalling Masonry if you think your crown needs to be repaired or rebuilt. Delays in repair work can cause issues to worsen and become more expensive to fix as time goes on, so there’s no time to lose. Reach out at 317-903-8121 or book with us online today.
What Is a Chimney Crown?
A chimney crown is a concrete or masonry structure that sits on top of your chimney. It serves as a protective barrier between the elements (think rain, snow, sleet, etc.) and your chimney. The crown plays a vital role in the protection of your chimney by redirecting rainwater and other debris away from your flue opening.
Long story short: An intact concrete crown is vital to the longevity and safety of your chimney.
Is the chimney crown the same as the chimney cap? The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but they do function differently. A cap covers the flue or pipe opening, while the crown prevents water from seeping into the masonry walls. In addition, a chimney cap is made of metal, while a crown is built from a concrete mix.
Why Is a Chimney Crown Important?
Water is a major cause of chimney damage, but the chimney crown isn’t just effective against preventing water-related damages. Chimneys are a popular real estate choice for animals like raccoons, squirrels, birds, and bats. Sharing your living space with wildlife can expose your family to increased fire and health hazards from nesting materials and waste. The crown helps prevent curious critters from moving in.
In addition, during storms with high winds, debris can fall into your chimney if it isn’t covered. Leaves and twigs can lodge in your chimney and lead to blockages that restrict the airflow or become fire hazards. Not to mention, a wayward spark can cause all sorts of problems. A chimney fire endangers the structural integrity of your chimney and your home. Chimney crowns shield against debris and keep your fireplace working at peak efficiency.
Common Causes of Concrete Chimney Crown Damage
Due to the location of the chimney crown, it is especially vulnerable. So, what are the major concerns in terms of damage?
- Faulty Installation. Smalling Masonry uses concrete for chimney crowns, but not all builders do the same. Some contractors use mortar for the crown, which is a weaker material that breaks down much quicker. This is very common in older homes.
- A Weather Event. We’ve all experienced it before – a bad storm that leaves behind fallen tree limbs and powerlines. When a branch lands on your chimney, it can cause cracking and chipping.
- Normal Wear and Tear. Every part of your home needs upkeep over time and chimneys are no exception. You can’t prevent damage entirely, but you can schedule regular chimney inspections to stay ahead of repairs.
- Concrete Shrinkage & Expansion. Temperature changes can affect the moisture content in concrete, so the chimney will shrink and expand over its lifespan. This activity weakens the concrete, making it more prone to cracks.
Call Us for Your Concrete Crown Repair
A damaged or deteriorated concrete crown is a chimney problem that needs to be fixed right away. A cracked crown is an open invitation for water, animals, and debris.
Fortunately for those in the Indianapolis area, from inspections to crown repairs, Smalling Masonry is a team you can trust for any job. Reach out to us online or call us at 317-903-8121 to schedule an appointment.